Each day, Morgan Hall welcomes students and professors from all corners of UA’s diverse campus, from First-Year composition students to sophomores fulfilling survey requirements to English and Creative Writing majors and minors. Theater and Dance students often occupy Morgan’s first floor auditorium. While this bright array of people will remain constant, changes are underway for the Department’s English major.
The English faculty have updated the Department’s foreign language requirement, allowing students to take computer science in place of a language. The faculty has also added a second African American survey, EN 250, to its major requirements.
The goal is to allow students to pursue a wider range of literary interests within the major.
The faculty is also creating optional guidelines to help English majors and minors succeed in future careers.
Dr. Yolanda Manora, the Department’s current Director of Undergraduate Studies explains, “It is an ongoing challenge to make sure that we are continuing to grow in ways that are reflective of our sense of commitment to the College of Arts and Science and to make sure students have full, rich, experiences in their course work and have the opportunity to work with the Department’s diverse faculty of professors and instructors.
Every year, the Department reviews its progress. Dr. Manora explains, “There is a sense of shared calling and commitment to making the Department of English strong and reflective. We refuse to coast along,” Dr. Manora says. “We continue to align ourselves with the growth of the University. We need to remain mindful of how are class offerings equip students for life beyond graduation.”
Professor Cassie Smith and Professor Lauren Cardon have lead monthly workshops helping English majors craft and tailor their resumes, apply to grad schools, and prepare for the myriad ways their majors can be an asset on the job market.
Dr. Manora argues, “In addition to our continuing commitment to rich curricular experiences we also need to offer co-curricular programs that prepare students for life beyond Morgan Hall.” As the next cohort of majors and minors move beyond Tuscaloosa’s stately campus, the English faculty can be sure that these students’ future employers will reap the benefits of their carefully honed talents in analysis and argumentation. Moreover their ability to communicate clearly in a wide array of academic settings will serve these graduates well in the ever-changing job market.